Bad speaker cable?

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I have been looking at getting some new bi-wire speaker cable for my budget system (Cambrige 540R V2, 640C, Eltax Monitor III's) as an improvement to the standard gale bi-wire cable. And yes I want to keep it bi-wire, I'm not kick starting that debate. I'm a little of the beaten track with this one but I have been looking at the speaker cables supplied by CPC, brands include puresonic, pro-power, vandamme etc, but I never heard of any of those brands and I'm not keen on purchasing any of them, but I can get a sizable discount through my fathers business, and he's keeping the pressure on to save money. Im not convinced, personally I just want some Qed Original Bi-Wire. Can anyone shed some light on the dubious quality of these types of cable and if it is a viable option.

Cheers
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Vandamme should be ok- it's a professional speaker cable brand with a good reputation.The other brands I don't know. As Thaiman will no doubt point out, Gotham speaker cable is also a good choice. So, if you can get hold of one of these two, give it a try.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
You are joking i'm just in the process of bi-wiring my MA BR5's with QED SILVER ANNIVERSARY XT,are you saying it's a pointless exercise?????????
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Fair enough i guess the proof of the pudding will be in the eating!!

And as i got 10m of the cable thrown in with the speakers all its cost me is my time and the price of 12 banana plugs!!
 

Thaiman

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Jul 28, 2007
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At this price point of HiFi, do not worry about cables too much. Get something that well made and if you ganna terminated make sure you do it well otherwise just go for bare wires as long as you remember to give them a trim now and again.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Think I'm decided on two runs of VanDamme 2.5mm, its blue so I'm assuming it the VanDamme blue I hear people taking about, I can get it for around 70p per meter or less, not bad I think.

Cheers for the comments
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="fr0g"]Ok. I am gonna take it back. I just did another run of my cheap cable, and biwired again, and there is a definite improvement. Slightly clearer mid to treble, and slightly more bass grip. I may be imagining it, but I tried to swap the cables over as quick as I could...

So my personal conclusions...A bespoke £5/m biwire cable (Audio innovations ultra biwire), is not as good as 2 runs of 2.5mmý multistrand OFC unbranded speaker cable, at a total of £1.60 per metre, but 2 runs and biwire seems to be better than 1...

Ho hum.
[/quote]

I'd be very tempted to say that the cause of the difference is mostly down to the fact that the gold bar is removed from the speaker binding posts. Personally I would always go for a better single wire cable than bi-wire for a set budget, and use little jumpers of said cable to bridge the binding posts. Throw the gold bar back in the box.
 

Thaiman

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While we are on the cables subject, have a read (LINK) here when you have a spare mins
emotion-11.gif
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I love a bit of controversy...all of my hangers are plastic so I guess I'll just have to make do with my Chord Odyssey...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="fr0g"][quote user="igglebert"][quote user="fr0g"]Ok. I am gonna take it back. I just did another run of my cheap cable, and biwired again, and there is a definite improvement. Slightly clearer mid to treble, and slightly more bass grip. I may be imagining it, but I tried to swap the cables over as quick as I could...

So my personal conclusions...A bespoke £5/m biwire cable (Audio innovations ultra biwire), is not as good as 2 runs of 2.5mmý multistrand OFC unbranded speaker cable, at a total of £1.60 per metre, but 2 runs and biwire seems to be better than 1...

Ho hum.
[/quote]

I'd be very tempted to say that the cause of the difference is mostly down to the fact that the gold bar is removed from the speaker binding posts. Personally I would always go for a better single wire cable than bi-wire for a set budget, and use little jumpers of said cable to bridge the binding posts. Throw the gold bar back in the box.[/quote]

Nah. You missed the point in any case.

I had it biwired with budget biwire (£5/m)
I tried it non-biwired with unbranded cable at 80p/m which was as good.

Another run of 80p/m unbranded cable in a biwire config has improved the clarity.

Total price £1.60/m

I am without doubt a cable skeptic. Moreso now. And no, I haven't tried a stupidly priced cable. To be honest, I believe peddlars of such are nothing less than thieves.

My system sounds fantastic (to me), and although I would like to improve further (and may soon), it will never be in a way where I give someone 100x what some plastic and wire is actually worth.

If I won the lottery,I would have a VERY good system, I love my music more than most things. But I still wouldn't pay the ludicrous premium that 'high-end' cables demand, for me it's very similar to buying a glass of coke for £5 in a nightclub. Worth about 5p, charge £5.

Also why on earth would the little 'gold' bars be less useful? They are usually thick pieces of metal at far less impedance than any speaker cable.

In fact I would now go so far as to say that it is NONSENSE. If you can tell the difference in a proper blind test, ONLY changing the 'gold' bars to wire, then I will give you £500 no problem... And if you can't, then you gve me £100? How about that?

There is more chance that green pen works on CDs.

And I dont wnt to sound rude but I am fed up with nonsense spouted as truth in 'audiophile' circles... so much so that I feel slightly embarassed to use the term... And I love audio. I love music. I love the fact that my new speakers sing so sweetly.
[/quote]

My opinion is that I'm somewhat more fed up with people getting belligerent with their views and opinions rather than just voicing them with a sparkle of interest. We have all had different experiences and have all agreed to disagree in other posts about the same thing. In fact, I have many-a-time read your views on cables, fr0g, and now it's starting to sound like a broken record.
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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Of course it may be that Fr0g can't hear the difference even if it is there.

It would be cool if someone could take up this challenge and resolve this one way or another.
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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[quote user="fr0g"][quote user="PJPro"]Of course it may be that Fr0g can't hear the difference even if it is there.

It would be cool if someone could take up this challenge and resolve this one way or another.[/quote] I concur.

I suppose there is an ever so slight difference in the electrical circuit using a 'piece of wire' instead of a brass bar, but seriously, this has got to be pure snake-oil as far as improving the sound goes.
Either that or I'm gonna put a magic sound amulet on top of my amplifier, to sweeten the audio-faeries on their trip down the wires of sound, to the great boxes of music.
[/quote]
While I like the fact that people's views are being challenged, I do not believe that ridiculing them is likely to gain any support for your position.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="fr0g"][quote user="igglebert"][quote user="fr0g"][quote user="igglebert"][quote user="fr0g"]Ok. I am gonna take it back. I just did another run of my cheap cable, and biwired again, and there is a definite improvement. Slightly clearer mid to treble, and slightly more bass grip. I may be imagining it, but I tried to swap the cables over as quick as I could...

So my personal conclusions...A bespoke £5/m biwire cable (Audio innovations ultra biwire), is not as good as 2 runs of 2.5mmý multistrand OFC unbranded speaker cable, at a total of £1.60 per metre, but 2 runs and biwire seems to be better than 1...

Ho hum.
[/quote]

I'd be very tempted to say that the cause of the difference is mostly down to the fact that the gold bar is removed from the speaker binding posts. Personally I would always go for a better single wire cable than bi-wire for a set budget, and use little jumpers of said cable to bridge the binding posts. Throw the gold bar back in the box.[/quote]

Nah. You missed the point in any case.

I had it biwired with budget biwire (£5/m)
I tried it non-biwired with unbranded cable at 80p/m which was as good.

Another run of 80p/m unbranded cable in a biwire config has improved the clarity.

Total price £1.60/m

I am without doubt a cable skeptic. Moreso now. And no, I haven't tried a stupidly priced cable. To be honest, I believe peddlars of such are nothing less than thieves.

My system sounds fantastic (to me), and although I would like to improve further (and may soon), it will never be in a way where I give someone 100x what some plastic and wire is actually worth.

If I won the lottery,I would have a VERY good system, I love my music more than most things. But I still wouldn't pay the ludicrous premium that 'high-end' cables demand, for me it's very similar to buying a glass of coke for £5 in a nightclub. Worth about 5p, charge £5.

Also why on earth would the little 'gold' bars be less useful? They are usually thick pieces of metal at far less impedance than any speaker cable.

In fact I would now go so far as to say that it is NONSENSE. If you can tell the difference in a proper blind test, ONLY changing the 'gold' bars to wire, then I will give you £500 no problem... And if you can't, then you gve me £100? How about that?

There is more chance that green pen works on CDs.

And I dont wnt to sound rude but I am fed up with nonsense spouted as truth in 'audiophile' circles... so much so that I feel slightly embarassed to use the term... And I love audio. I love music. I love the fact that my new speakers sing so sweetly.
[/quote]

My opinion is that I'm somewhat more fed up with people getting belligerent with their views and opinions rather than just voicing them with a sparkle of interest. We have all had different experiences and have all agreed to disagree in other posts about the same thing. In fact, I have many-a-time read your views on cables, fr0g, and now it's starting to sound like a broken record.[/quote]
So you wont take up my challenge?

My views are open to change. I am a skeptic with an open mind.

However, I will reiterate. If you can prove your advise to be true, I will give you £500 and offer a FULL apology...All I ask is a 5th back if you are wrong. Simple. I can arrange it in May. No problem.

Simple rules... In a blind test of IDENTICAL system. (apart from the 'gold' bits or 'bits of wire')

YOU can tell them apart (AND declare the 'bits of wire' better in lets say 90% of tests... lests say 18/20 ? )

Thing is, broken record or not, I doubt you'd get any more than statistical average.
[/quote]

Well, thank you for offering the challenge but I would like to decline as I have better things to do with my time. I'm happy with my hifi approaches, as are my friends, some of which share my views. Please can we park the cable debate and agree to disagree because it really is wearing thin and there's so much other stuff to talk about. In particular, you said you were considering a new amp...I would heartily recommend a Quad 99/909 and they're on ebay sometimes. Tricky to audition though, but very good. Otherwise, can you try the Primare I30?
 

Anton90125

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Sep 1, 2007
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[quote user="fr0g"]audiophoolery[/quote]

audiophoolery - now there's a highly contentious idea.

Now I think you have gone too far. Some of us know how to conduct a blind test, some of us have it forced on us by circumstance. We have on occasion heard difference sometimes with expensive cables like Isolda. To automatically dismiss it as audiophoolery without hearing it, isn't really good enough. As long as it is your opinion thats fine, but when its stated as a unproven fact-well no not good enough.

On another post you said that you believe cable are limited to LCR considerations only and thus cable performances can be totally characterised by measurement. Out of interest how do you base this opinion?
 

Anton90125

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Sep 1, 2007
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[quote user="fr0g"] I haven't tried a stupidly priced cable. To be honest, I believe peddlars of such are nothing less than thieves.[/quote]

Which is pretty blanket like. And then you add in your next reply:

[quote user="fr0g"] Why is it that audiophoolery seems to have the strange 'right' that religion also often enjoys, of being beyond ridicule?[/quote]

when some one criticized some of your replies in that you "ridicule" others opinion -different to yours, you brought in the term "audiophoolery" as a defence and a reason to ridicule.

Whether you actually intended it as a blanket statement is not clear but the implication (intended or otherwise) is.

[quote user="fr0g"] I am open minded [/quote]

How can you be when you haven't tried "stupidly priced cable" and yet believe "peddlars" are thieves?

[quote user="fr0g"] I come from a scientific standpoint,[/quote]

What standpoint is that? Do you work in a scientific profession or do you have a qualification?

Where does it state that data transmission down a cable is purely down to LCR considerations. Where is the scientific proof that other aspects quoted by these "peddlars" are snake oil- I trust that you have it ( you will need it if you wish to keep the claim of open mindedness )

[quote user="fr0g"]But I also bellieve that there MUST always be a strong scientific reason, and that it can be tested properly[/quote]

I agree with you sentiments here but in the interests of being "open minded" maybe it may be advisable to restricting your statements to that of an opinion until such time it can be scientifically tested one way or another. And be careful, scientific reason covers a wide range of possibilities-, it needs to otherwise scientific methodology would not work.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
It's a good job we have these discussions on a forum rather than at the pub. Then again, maybe the cable debate would end forever that way...

I have to say that I envy those who don't find a decent difference between cable changes. It would certainly have saved me some money :)
 

Anton90125

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Sep 1, 2007
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[quote user="fr0g"]Oh and maybe read this[/quote]

Yes I have seen this many times. Though it shows some dodgy activities, no way can that be extrapolated to the cable industry itself with out actual proof.

[quote user="fr0g"] Stupidly expensive cables are almost total profit. [/quote]

Yes perhaps/perhaps not but that's the nature of retail.

[quote user="fr0g"] They MAY VERY WELL help the sound, but at a cost. [/quote]

That true of all HiFi, Performance at a cost - a law of diminishing returns

[quote user="fr0g"] I am open minded in that I have no problem with having my beliefs proved wrong.[/quote]

Sorry - That's not open mindedness, that a readiness to change your mind given some proof. Open minded (like the ideal scientist) will have no opinion (thus no bias) in the way he approaches an unknown (such as you actual auditory experience of high end cable).

[quote user="fr0g"]I used the term 'audiophoolery' as a response to the religion/audiophiles SHALT NOT BE RIDICULED law that seems to exist.[/quote]

Or you don't like when some one exercises their right to defend their opinion/experience or maybe you are simply getting constructive criticism confused with ridicule and not surprisingly then getting quite surprised by peoples reactions.

[quote user="fr0g"] If I wanted to be rude, believe me I would have absolutely no problem.[/quote]

Of that I have no doubt ! :eek:

[quote user="fr0g"]I simply do not like to see the constant stream of baseless advice I see. [/quote]

That's a little bit arrogant since you have not proven that it baseless as you have not tested it /heard it / compared it.

[quote user="fr0g"] I mean I look at it logically . [/quote]

Dangerous ground here. There is more the one way to look at some thing logically ie its quite personal. Also the degree of scientific knowledge shape the way you use this "logic"

If you look at one of the great scientific theories -Quantum Physics -logic as in everyday logic is almost meaning less

[quote user="fr0g"] especially, when the advice seems to be on the face of it, silly. [/quote]

what actually is "silly" is quite subjective in itself. This will be shaped by who you are and your knowledge and experiences

I have to say I am quite enjoying this discourse- very refreshing!
 

PJPro

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Jan 21, 2008
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Hhhmm. fr0g, I have read the pages at the end of your link. I do not necessarily disagree with it's content or your own views. I do not say audiophiles shall not be ridiculed. I do think your views would be more persuasive if you could avoid goading your audience

However, your parallel to religion is interesting (ie a belief system) and I can understand how, given the right marketing, people can become so full of faith that something is true that it can become difficult to dissuade them.

The flip side of course, as pointed out by other pages from your link (http://www.roger-russell.com/hearing/hearing.htm), is that hearing abaility will be different in all and age degrades that ability further (perhaps I should be asking my 3 year old if she can hear the differences?). Moreover, the ability of the brain to interpret that information will differ....we also have the influence of experience here (eg wine connoisseur).

I would hope that debates down the pub would be conducted in the same passionate and spirited manner as on the forum. At the end of the day this isn't worth getting overly upset about.

My advice to anyone would be to spend what you thought it was worth spending - exactly the same advice I would give if you were buying a watch.
 

Anton90125

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Sep 1, 2007
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[quote user="fr0g"]"the nature of retail" - Indeed. but sometimes things take the p1ss because they find themselves in a position where they can. Coke from syrup in a pub....hifi cables.[/quote]

Perhaps but as I work in retail (18 years) , I know you charge/sell an item at price that people will buy. Since Hifi manufactures run business, they have to maximise their profits, they sell the items at the highest price they can get. In this case it is what stores will accept with regard to there own margin. Most of the mark up you bemoan takes place here but again it is subject to what people are prepared to pay. Research/raw materials/manufacturing/distribution/marketing costs being left far behind. As I said the nature of retail.

[quote user="fr0g"] a law of diminishing returns " - this isnt fair.[/quote]

I am a bit surprised that you think its not fair. The sonic differences between a £100 amp and a £200 amp is fairly large.The difference between a £200 and £300 is not so large. The difference between a £300 and £400 is again not quite as large. And so on. You will find certain models will buck this generalisation but over all this holds true. Thus a law of diminishing returns.

[quote user="fr0g"]"ideal scientist" - Everyone has some idea of what they expect to find in an experiment.[/quote]

This is where the great scientists stand out. Usually an experiment is carried out to test a theory or hypothesis as part of the never ending process to get a full theory or understanding of the processes you are studying. Having an idea of the results and going into the experiment with preconception are two different things. In the first case a null result is just as important as a positive. In the second case you may reject the results and blame unjustly some aspect of the experiment/experimenter. Scientist are human being fully capable of misleading them selves which is why is why I referred to the idea of the "Ideal Scientist" who can recognize a result for what it is and not as a treat to any pet theory.

[quote user="fr0g"]
"Quantum physics" - Yes - I have tried to read about it. I did some at A-level, and it's pretty mindblowing stuff.[/quote]

This sums it up: "Anyone who says that they understand Quantum Mechanics does not understand Quantum Mechanics"- Richard Feynman.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
[quote user="fr0g"]
SO I KNOW the markups... Your average engagement ring is likely worth in gold and diamond maybe a thiird to a half of what you pay (I have browsed, fixed, and whatnot Retail databases for some very large and famous UK firms (Sports, Clothes etc) - So I understand retail, market economy CAPITALISM etc....

I STILL think they take the piddle sometimes though.
[/quote]Ah, yes, but that's why we hifi- enthusiasts love the 2nd hand market so much! Their asking price is much closer to it's actual value!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
fr0g, I have to admire your staying power. Unfort. I agree about the capitalist problem with equipment pricing. It frightens me how much it all costs. I got a new Nokia 6300 phone today for about £30 from work. Apparently it costs Nokia little over 50p to make. I won't get started on this topic but speaker wire, interconnects, etc, are over-priced with the intention that those who like them will _have_ to pay for them. The law of buying what you think you need.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
50p, if indeed it is true, I have no idea but it illustrates a valid point.

I draw the line at screws...
 

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